Development and commercial exploitation of a novel fungicide designed to combat resistance in agriculture

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Life Sciences

Abstract

Fungi can be devastating as pathogens of food-crops, of humans and as food spoilage organisms. There is great potential value in new, effective treatments for controlling fungal growth. Through previous BBSRC-funded work, we discovered a novel combination of two agents with greatly amplified inhibitory action against fungi. Combination treatments are highly sought as they counter drug resistance and use smaller amounts of active agents. Our subsequent Pathfinder project has identified a very promising commercial path for exploiting this technology: as a fungicide to help preserve food crops. The agricultural fungicide market was forecast to be worth $12,125 million in 2014, and is growing. Through the Pathfinder, four important agri-chemical companies have formally expressed their interest in our findings and in potential development of a new fungicide. This Follow on Fund proposal combines key technical work with commercial development in order to take the technology towards market.
 
Description New combinations of agents that inhibit fungi in a synergistic manner, and mechanisms of synergistic action. We have assessed these against diverse undesirable fungi and are extending to plant infections, anticipating that these agents may help prevent fungal spoilage of crops and/or target other undesirable fungi.
Exploitation Route Application to inhibit undesirable fungi
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description Press release and TV coverage of our new fungicidal combination technology. Have secured support for a CASE studentship supported by a major agrichemical company. Another agrichem company is currently undertaking 2nd round of in-house tests with the technology. A further follow-on proposal has been awarded, focused on protection of commercial materials from fungal deterioration.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Agri-Food Seeding Catalyst
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 510883 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 02/2018
 
Description BBSRC IAA
Amount £24,324 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S506758/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 07/2019
 
Description British Mycological Society - Undergraduate Summer Bursary
Amount £1,850 (GBP)
Organisation British Mycological Society 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 08/2017
 
Description EPSRC-GCRF Pump Priming
Amount £11,940 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R512849/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 03/2019
 
Description Hermes Fellowship, 2016
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2016 
End 06/2016
 
Description ICP CASE studentships and S
Amount £126,696 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/P504671/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description Newton Bhabha PhD Placement Programme
Amount £10,200 (GBP)
Funding ID 269661255 
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 12/2017
 
Description Newton Fund Researcher Links
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 2017-RLWK8-10388 
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2019
 
Description Seeding Catalyst Award
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/SCA/Nottingham/17 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 02/2018
 
Description Syngenta industrial partnership (CASE) studentship
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Funding ID RIS121908 
Organisation Syngenta International AG 
Sector Public
Country Global
Start 10/2016 
End 06/2022
 
Title Antifungal composition / treatment 
Description Novel combinations of agents that synergistically inhibit growth of undesirable fungi, including human pathogens, plant pathogens, spoilers of foods and commercial products 
IP Reference WO2016151293 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact ICP-CASE studentship funded by Syngenta/BBSRC. Currently 2nd round of trials underway by Dupont Ltd. Early engagement with several other companies.
 
Description BBSRC-FAPESP workshop Sao Paulo, Understanding and managing resistance, including novel methods, for pathogen and pest control 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact BBSRC funded participation in this workshop in Brazil, to establish new partnerships
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Conference organiser 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference organiser, British Mycological Society Main Meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Fungicide combinations for inhibiting pathogens and other undesirable fungi - University of Putra, Malaysia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Research seminar
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Inaugural lecture: 101 Ways to kill a fungus 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Inaugural lecture, open to the general public - several attended. Several student contacts since seeking research projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Stressors on Yeasts and Filamentous Fungi - Univ Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Research talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Unilever visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Research collaboration presentation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Water resilience and food security in Ghana 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Intended to promote new research collaborations towards future funding opportunities, e.g., GCRF
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I co-organised a UK-Brazil researcher links 3-day workshop on the fungal threat to food security, which took place at Univ. Sao Paulo in Sept 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.britishcouncil.org.br/events/researcher-links-workshop-food-security